6 Best Water Filter Pitchers (Our Review for 2020)
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6 Best Water Filter Pitchers (Our Review for 2020)

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Nearly half of adults don't drink enough water to stay properly hydrated, and because 60% of our bodies are made up of water, there are important negative implications that dehydration can have on human health.

All of the cells and organs in your body need water to function properly. When you’re dehydrated, your body may struggle to maintain a normal body temperature, you may experience digestive issues including constipation, your blood pressure can rise due to the thickening of your blood, and your organs will not get the amount of oxygen that they need, among many other negative health impacts.

Drinking water is also important to your overall health because people who drink more water generally consume less soda, alcohol, and energy drinks. They tend to have better diets than those who turn to processed drinks and be healthier overall.

If you don't like the tap water at home, and don’t like the idea of the waste that buying bottled water produces, water filter pitchers could be the thing that encourages you to drink more. Unlike other options that are out there for water filtration products, a water filter pitcher can be used almost as soon as you open the box, so you can start drinking more water right away.

What are the Best Water Filter Pitchers?

Don't have time to read the entire review? Check out this table to see our picks for the best water filter pitchers.

Best overallBest overallAquagear‌ ‌Water‌ ‌Filter‌ ‌Pitcher‌CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Best large capacity water filterBest large capacity water filterPur‌ ‌18-Cup‌ ‌Water‌ ‌Dispenser‌CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Best value for priceBest value for priceBrita‌ ‌Everyday‌CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Most stylishMost stylishMavea‌ ‌Elemaris‌ ‌XL‌CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Best ergonomic designBest ergonomic designEpic‌ ‌Pure‌ ‌Water‌ ‌Filter‌ ‌Pitcher‌CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Best for fast filteringBest for fast filteringNakii‌ ‌Water‌ ‌Filter‌ ‌Pitcher‌CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

How to Drink More Water

Dehydration is a widespread problem that can lead to the aforementioned health problems, in addition to dry skin, headaches, and joint pain. What’s more, prolonged dehydration can cause kidney damage and serious health concerns.

Many people don't drink enough because they don't like the taste of tap water that their local utilities provide. Municipal water is treated frequently with chlorine to kill bacteria, and it may also contain a number of potentially harmful and even carcinogenic substances. This often discourages people from regularly consuming water at home. Cities have even made headlines because their water is cloudy, brown, and has a bad taste; yet officials say that it's safe to drink. Rusty water mains and old lead pipes can also affect water quality.

Even if the taste or smell of your tap water doesn’t bother you, your water may still contain unwanted impurities. You can find out what types of possible contaminants are in your municipality's water supply by looking at your area’s water supplier’s Consumer Confidence Report to see the levels of contaminants that are in your tap water.

A great first step to overcoming this hurdle to drinking water is to use a water filter pitcher. Once you’re using a water filter pitcher to clean your water, you can then add natural flavors such as lemon or herbs to give you a bit of flavor. Or, if you have a juice that you really like to drink, you can work your way into the habit of drinking water by gradually diluting the drink with more and more water to increase your water intake.

Also, make sure to always have a filled water bottle near you, whether you’re at home or on-the-go. Find a water bottle that works best for your needs and fill it up every time you finish it. By doing this, you will find yourself sipping water throughout the day, which will prevent you from letting your body become dehydrated.

How Do Water Filter Pitchers Work?

Commercial pitcher systems use disposable cartridges that contain a combination of activated carbon and ion-exchange resins to remove contaminants. Activated carbon is made from heat-treated coconut shells and works through the process of adsorption. The large surface area of activated carbon is exceptionally porous and attracts contaminants, making it act like a sponge as the carbon traps unwanted contaminants such as lead, copper, chlorine, pesticides, and organic compounds that impact the taste and smell of your tap water.

However, activated carbon filters are not able to eliminate all dissolved minerals, nitrates, and bacteria through this process. While metals bind to the carbon and are therefore trapped in the filter, these can pass through the system. But these substances aren’t necessarily harmful and most water has already been treated to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. That said, it generally isn’t a big deal if these things seep through your filter.

Carbon filtration systems are also paired with plastic polymer beads, which contain specially treated resin that can trade ions with electrically charged particles. This process neutralizes toxins by changing their composition. Ion exchange resin can treat “hard water”, meaning it reduces the amount of calcium and magnesium ions that are in it.

Using Water Filter Pitchers

Filter pitchers are intended for storage in the refrigerator. If they are kept on the counter, the water should be consumed or replaced within a few days. Products in this category vary in their appearance and design, but the key of the water pitcher filter lies with the filter.

Because of this, it is important to stay on top of changing your water pitcher filter. The instruction manual that comes with your pitcher will indicate how often the filter should be changed, which is usually about every 60 days. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines because if your filter gets clogged with contaminants or the carbon fills up to capacity, it will no longer be effective.

If your water starts to flow slower than normal, your filter is probably clogged and needs to be replaced.

Cost and Benefits of Using a Walter Filter Picther

Most pitchers cost between $25 and $50 and come with one cartridge to get you started. Replacement filters cost between $8 and $12 each, so it could be more economical to purchase a multi-pack. It's estimated that one cartridge can replace 300 pint-sized water bottles, which saves money and reduces plastic waste.

Aside from saving you money and reducing waste, a water filter pitcher allows you to only filter the amount of water that you need to drink. While under-the-sink filtration systems will waste your filter life by filtering all of the water that comes through your sink (for washing dishes, watering the plants, etc.) you can extend the life of a water filter pitcher by only using it for the water that you drink. Also, due to their compact size, you can take your water filter pitcher with you while you’re travelling so you can have clean water on the go.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Water Filter Pitcher

Material

Most water filter pitchers are made of plastic, so it’s best to get a pitcher that’s made from a safe plastic so chemicals won’t seep into your water. Find a pitcher that’s made from BPA-free plastic to ensure ultimate purity.

Filters

Because you will need to replace your filters, you will want a pitcher that comes with filters that will last at least two months. Choose a pitcher that features some kind of indicator letting you know when it’s time to replace the filter. Also, make sure that your pitcher comes with its first filter.

Reliability

To make sure your water filter pitcher can remove all possible health hazards, look for a label that notes it is NSF-certified, which indicates it meets sanitation and efficacy standards.

Size

Typically, these pitchers come in sizes between 5 and 12 cups. While you will need to refill a larger pitcher less frequently, it will also take up more refrigerator space. Although, some larger pitchers do come in a space-saving design to reduce this issue. Look at the pitcher’s dimensions before buying it so you can be sure it will fit in your fridge.

Spout

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but your pitcher’s spout is also important to consider. Find a model that has a wide, contoured spout so your water can pour out in a steady stream. Some spouts come with a flap to prevent particles and odors from getting into the pitcher, and some of these flaps lock, so you can be sure your pitcher won’t spill if it’s knocked over. 

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a water filter pitcher, let's take a look at 6 of the most popular models based on size, cost, and contaminant removal.

6 Best Water Filter Pitchers

1. Best Overall: Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher

This is the best overall option because it offers excellent filtration and its filters last for a long time. The Aquagear water filter pitcher is made out of 100% FDA-approved, BPA-free, food grade materials and is both recyclable and vegan.

The setup for this pitcher is fast and easy, as the initial filter flushing takes less than 3 minutes. It comes with a pour spout feature, allowing users to conveniently fill it up “hands-free”. It also comes with a tight-sealing cover, so odors and debris are unable to get into the pitcher.

This pitcher comes with a lifetime guarantee and immediate customer support, so if your pitcher breaks, the manufacturer will replace it for free.

The Filters

The filter on this model exceeds NSF Standards 42 and 53, which covers taste, odor,  and health-related claims. The triple capacity, high-quality filters can purify up to 150 gallons each, which is about three times longer than other popular filters, which means this option can save you money in the long run.

The five-stage filter comes with two micron pores that will protect you from consuming contaminants that some other filters miss. The Aquagear filters have been shown to remove up to 2000% more contaminants than other leading products, including lead, fluoride, chromium, chlorine, mercury, and chloramines. However, the filter keeps healthy trace minerals such as calcium and magnesium in your water, so you’ll still get the health benefits from these minerals.

Finally, the Aquagear filters can be recycled. Users just need to alert the manufacturer via email and they will send a shipping label to return the filter so it can be properly recycled.

Pros:

  • Best option for filtering fluoride, lead, iron, and other contaminants from municipal water
  • Has a 5-stage filter that can clear up to 150 gallons of water
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • Pitcher is expensive, but since the filters last for so long, you could save money in the long run
  • Filtering process is slow
  • Some people find the chlorine taste to remain after filtering

2. Best Large Capacity Water Filter: Pur 18-Cup Water Dispenser

Pur offers one of the largest water filtering containers on the market. Its 18-cup filtering water dispenser is attractive and moderately priced. This model has a horizontal configuration with a crock-style spigot.

The unit holds just over a gallon of filtered water. It could be suited for larger families, people who drink a lot of water or those who use filtered water for cooking and for filling pets' bowls.

This dispenser is not advertised as being free from bisphenol A (BPA), but representatives claim that the dispenser is made from an acrylic polymer. The lid is made from polystyrene, and the filters are made from polypropylene. The recycling numbers are seven, six and five respectively. The components are recyclable if your local facility accepts these plastics.

The Filters

Pur filters still need to be soaked for 15 minutes before use. The Maxion design includes coconut-based activated carbon that absorbs organic compounds and pollutants. It also features ion-exchange granules. Each filter contains some 200,000 square feet of surface area for trapping contaminants.

The brand states that its filters remove 99% of lead and 95% of mercury. It claims to minimize the odor and taste of chlorine while reducing levels of 21 common contaminants, including pharmaceutical pollutants and microbial cysts. In fact, Pur says that it offers the only filters that are certified to remove microbial cysts, which are dormant forms of giardia, cryptosporidium and other pathogens. As with similar activated carbon products, the filters perform well for two months or 40 gallons.

All in all, the Pur 18-cup dispenser might be a good choice for consumers who are seeking a filter system with a large capacity. However, because it holds 18 cups of water, it can be heavy when full.

Pros:

  • Holds a lot of water
  • The dispenser and filters are recyclable
  • Filters achieve good results and remove one-third of total dissolved solids
  • The larger size is suitable for filling smaller reusable containers if desired

Cons:

  • The container may be heavy when filled
  • Pur filters are slightly more expensive than other brands
  • Filters can stop working due to air bubbles that are trapped in the media, but this issue can be corrected by removing the filter, turning it upside down and shaking it briskly for five seconds
  • Does not come with a digital filter replacement reminder

3. Best Value for Price: Brita Everyday

The German brand Brita is perhaps the best-known maker of water filter pitchers. The company has sold water filters in Europe for nearly 50 years and was one of the first companies to offer these products in the United States. For some 20 years, Brita's products were licensed and distributed by Clorox, but the company has since reclaimed its rights.

As the name implies, the Everyday model is an affordable pitcher with basic features that are designed for daily use. Because it doesn't have a digital filter reminder, users are encouraged to track the number of refills or replace the filter every two months. The design is simple and easy to use. The lid on this filter pitcher doesn't lock in place, so pouring must be done with care. The company has listened to its customers and plans to release Everyday pitchers with covers that fit tightly. Packages will be marked as new and improved.

The Filters

This model uses Brita's standard pitcher and dispenser filters, so consumers can get Brita's filtration results at a competitive price. The filters are readily available and come in multi-packs. They don’t need to be soaked before use–they simply must run under tap water for 15 seconds.

The filter contains activated carbon made from coconut shells. The proprietary media removes organic contaminants as well as the taste and smell of chlorine. Carbon is combined with white ion-exchange granules. These polymer beads have a large surface area and help to remove metals and heavy metals that are found in drinking water. Brita recommends changing the filter after two months or 40 gallons of use. Since the pitcher has a 10-cup capacity, the filter should be changed after 64 refills.

Pros:

  • Brita's new filters purify water faster and don't require soaking
  • Filters are competitively priced and easy to find
  • There's no need to worry about digital filter meters getting wet or failing
  • Storage is easy thanks to the pitcher's compact size of 11 inches tall, 10.5 inches long and 5.6 inches wide

Cons:

  • The Everyday pitcher does not have a flap covering the spout as other Brita models do
  • The hollow handle fills with water and is difficult to clean
  • It's difficult to remove the reservoir for cleaning since there is no handle or tab for lifting
  • Although Brita advertises its improved filter design, granules may still leak into the water

4. Most Stylish: Mavea Elemaris XL

Mavea is a Brita subsidiary that has been offering filter pitchers to North American consumers since 2009. Its products are designed and manufactured in Germany. Mavea has positioned itself as a premium brand that claims to offer next-generation filtration technology, superior construction, and enhanced designs.

The Mavea Elemaris XL is intended to be a stylish fridge-to-table pitcher. It's available in black or white and three trendy colors including orange, magenta and purple.

It has a soft rubber handle for easy gripping and a molded bottom with non-skid, non-scratch feet. A digital meter embedded in the lid provides real-time data about the filter's life based on filtration volume, time, and water hardness. Another unique feature is the pitcher's automatic filling port. Pressure from your faucet's water flow automatically opens a portal in the lid for hands-free refills.

The Filters

The Elemaris XL holds nine cups of filtered water, which is 2.25 quarts. It uses Maxtra filters that are available in one- two- and three-packs according to the manufacturer. The cost is comparable to filters offered by Brita and competing brands although they are supposed to deliver superior results.

Environmentally conscious consumers may appreciate the brand's filter recycling program. Mavea will pay for consumers to ship back at least six name-brand filters. Each part of the filter is recycled or reused so that there is zero landfill waste. Recycling bins are placed at select retail locations.

The manufacturer says that the filters feature a micromesh that prevents carbon granules from entering the water, which is a common problem with water filter pitchers. The filter media contains silver particles that inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. Another advertised feature is a flow control system that provides consistent filtration speeds over the life of the filter. Unlike other products, Maxtra filters purportedly reduce limescale by sequestering calcium and minerals found in hard water.

Pros:

  • Soaking is not required to activate the filter
  • The pitcher and reservoir are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
  • Thanks to its stylish design, the pitcher can be displayed on the table or in the kitchen

Cons:

  • The digital meter is not waterproof
  • The Maxtra does not remove all particles
  • The pour-through flap is wobbly

5. Best Ergonomic Design: Epic Pure Water Filter Pitcher

This pitcher comes with a new ergonomic design that makes using it very easy. In addition to its superior filter, it has a secure lid to prevent leaks, a flexible spout for a clean pour, and a digital reminder that will let you know when it’s time to change the filter.

While this pitcher is large, it comes with a space-saving design so it can easily fit into your fridge without taking up too much room. And, while bottled water can get very expensive, this pitcher is economical, as it only costs 29¢ for every gallon of fresh water it produces. A family of 5 can easily get fresh water from this pitcher while eliminating the need for wasteful plastic bottles.

The manufacturer offers a 100% lifetime money-back guarantee in addition to phone and email customer support that is available 24/7. If you need to return your pitcher, the company allows you to do this with no hassle to ensure that you’re satisfied with your experience.

The Filters

The 5-stage, triple capacity filters for this pitcher purify up to 200 gallons and remove 99.9% of all contaminants. The patented filters remove 2000% more toxins than other leading brands, including chromium, lead, mercury, chloramines, and more, while maintaining the calcium and magnesium in your water. The proprietary 5-stage filter system offers 2 different filtering materials to clean your water. The first filtering material is two layers of activated coconut carbon filters, which cleans the water down to two microns. The coconut carbon layer removes over 90% of fluoride, in addition to chlorine and trihalomethanes.

The remaining three layers use a proprietary organic filter to eliminate heavy metals, trace pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and other contaminants that can seep through the activated coconut carbon layers.

The filters go through a comprehensive testing process in the USA, and independent, third-party lab results from Japan, The UK, Brazil, and New Zealand prove that the filters remove copper, lead, and other toxins and metals that may be in your water.

The filters are recyclable, BPA-free, vegan, and made using FDA-approved food-grade materials. These filters are EPA and ANSI certified and exceed NSF Standards 42 and 53 for toxin reduction.

Pros:

  • Filters can purify up to 200 gallons of water
  • The digital reminder makes it clear when it’s time to change the filter
  • Pitcher is BPA-free and recyclable
  • Comes with a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • Some find the spout to be too small
  • Handle is a bit flimsy
  • Users have to manually open the cover of the pour spout before pouring
  • Some people have had issues with the digital indicator working correctly

6. Best for Fast Filtering: Nakii Water Filter Pitcher

This option is great for those who want clean water quickly, as its high-quality materials are able to purify water faster than many other options. It has a 150 gallon capacity, so it has a comparable lifespan to the other products on this list. The filter uses Japanese Activated Carbon Fiber Technology, as well as Fully Stable Lifetime Performance technology and adsorption material to offer you the purest water possible.

This pitcher offers a free-flowing design to guarantee fast and steady filtration. It has a sleek design, so it is convenient to store in your refrigerator door. It is made with a durable construction, so it can stand up to wear and tear for several years, and it comes with a spill-proof spout.  The materials used to make this pitcher are BPA-free and approved by the FDA.

The Filters

The Nakii filter uses Japanese Activated Carbon Fiber, which has been proven to be up to 12 times more effective than any other carbon filters. This type of carbon fiber was originally developed for use in the military and in medical care facilities, as it reduces 97% of potential contaminants. It also helps reduce limescale, calcium, mercury, and chlorine in tap water. The filter also reduces lead, rust, and other particles, in addition to odd colors and odors.

The filters are regularly tested and recertified by the Water Quality Association to ensure their performance meets the NSF/ANSI standard for the quality of its filtration. These filters are effective for 150 gallons of water and they have a rapid flow rate of 5.5 cups per minute.

Pros:

  • Filters work quickly
  • Spout is designed to prevent spills
  • Pitcher holds up to 7.5 cups
  • The sleek design fits in narrow spaces

Cons:

  • Some find the filter to be difficult to remove in order to replace
  • The flow rate reduces significantly as the filter fills up
  • Some users have experienced leaks
  • Has a small reservoir

The Winner

All of these options are the best in their category, but the overall winner is the Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher.

Although it is pricier than others up front, the filters are long-lasting and the product has a lifetime guarantee.  When compared to its competitors, this option tops the rest for its superior filtration abilities and durable filters.

best water filter pitcher | Which water filter pitcher removes the most contaminants | Is Zero water filter better than Brita | Do Brita filters actually do anything

Connie Stemmle is a professional editor, freelance writer and ghostwriter. She holds a BS in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her 4-year-old daughter, running, or making efforts in her community to promote social justice.

Let\'s take a look at 6 of the most popular water filter pitcher models based on size, cost, and contaminant removal. best water filter pitcher | Which water filter pitcher removes the most contaminants | Is Zero water filter better than Brita | Do Brita filters actually do anything

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